Hamilton, Stevi schools receive Graduation Matters grantsGraduation Matters Montana has been credited with declining statewide dropout rates – from 5.0 percent in 2009 to 3.6 percent in 2014 – and increasing graduation rates – from 80.7 percent in 2009 to 85.4 percent in 2014. This is Montana’s highest the graduation rate since the OPI began calculating the graduation rate in 2000. The Alliance for Excellent Education calculates that Montana will see significant economic gains from these improved rates – estimating a $5.9 million annual boost to the state’s economy. They predict an increase of $12.3 million spent on buying homes and a $700,000 increase in automobile sales. The AEE also predicts high school graduates will earn $95 million more over the course of their lifetimes; compared to if they had not graduated from high school.